helvetica, modernism, post-modernism and social networking

New, you, web2: The significance of socially networked media depends on your frame of reference

I thought this post by Leigh Blackall may of interest. Leigh gives a good summation of the film Helvetica, in relation to the networked world, and how we perhaps need to change our thinking towards it, and how it impacts on the cultural references we apply to it.
To my mind looking at the world today through the lens of modernism is a bit like turning up to a party wearing your work clothes… (…) there’s no such thing as a film maker, a designer, a journalist or record producer anymore. These historic reference points for media and communication have been diluted and washed away. If these things are everywhere now, then these things are nothing (to appropriate Robert Hughes‘ famous line). Of course we still go to see films, and buy recorded music, and take notice of journalistic expertise, its just that these are no longer the only, or most significant platform for cultural expression. Visual communication and design is now merging with personal expression and identity and professionalism has nothing to do with it.

Any comments?



One thought on “helvetica, modernism, post-modernism and social networking

  1. Rick Poynor: What we have is a climate now in which the very idea of visual communication and graphic design, if we still want to call it that, is accepted by many more people. They get it. They understand it. They’re starting to see graphic communication as an expression of their own identity. And the classic case of this is the social networking programs such as MySpace, where you can customize your profile. You can change the background, you can put pictures in, you can change the typeface to anything you want, and those choices, those decisions you make, become expressions of who you are. You start to care about it, in the way you care about the clothing you’re wearing as an expression of who you are, or your haircut or whatever, or how you decorate your apartment–all of those things. You know, we accept the idea of identity being expressed in that way, through these consumer choices. Well, now it’s happening in the sphere of visual communication, and there’s no reason as the tools become ever more sophisticated, why this just won’t go on developing and developing.

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